Does Google still hold contact data after deleting from Google Contacts?

I am in the process of moving out some contacts from Google Contacts, specifically those that I do not have a Gmail address. It's a way for me to give these people a tiny bit more privacy, as I'm doing a cleanup of my contact list. My concern is that Google will still keep their data even after I delete it from my end. Is it so? Or does removing a contact really delete it from there?


I don’t think there’s a factual answer to this question.
My take on it though is why would they delete it? They can make use of it in various ways, and in new ways every once in a while, and it’s not like as if you could prove it in court or even just find out that they didn’t delete your data.


@ReversalHatchery I was thinking about that. I previously worked for a company that did the exact same thing, if I recall correctly (this was years ago, so I'm not sure whether they still do it). But I wanted to see if anyone has any more knowledge about this thing than me. If that's what happens, I guess I'll be fine simply keeping these contacts on Google and saving anything on GeneralSync going forward (or any other such alternative service).


I’m pessimistic when it comes to companies using my data but I assume they will use and abuse that info forever.


We have no visibility into Google’s internal processes. The developers that work on the product would probably know, but the rest of us can only guess.


@sbv Thank you!


100% yes, absolutely, as a database backup. Whether it’s stored elsewhere or used for any other purpose is another question.


Contacts has a Trash can. Deleted contacts are deleted after 30 days. You can empty the Trash yourself. Log into the web interface and find Trash on the left.


Thats just a user frontend showing your personal view of things . Nobody outside Google knows for sure if they really remove it from their end. All we know is they COULD keep a copy for themselves.


Not directly an answer to your question, but this is a really nice gesture. I’d appreciate it a ton personally

otter, avatar

Agreed, I didn’t think to do this but I might go through my list when I get time

While companies may secretly hold on to the data, it would also prevent future apps from abusing the data if I accidentally allow contact permissions


@lemann Thank you! Yea, many of my contact's emails are probably on Yahoo instead, so it's not that much of a biggie. I know nobody using Tuta or Proton or whatever. And probably they no longer care since most people use their emails only for logging in to websites that don't support SSO with social networks/Google and just outright create a new email if they forget their password to that. But hey, less data for Google is still less data for Google.

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